Volvo’s compact electric car will focus on attracting car subscriptions in a bid to ‘talk to’ new, younger customers.
Volvo‘s forthcoming electric crossover, tipped to be called the EX30, will be designed around the subscription ownership model in a bid to help the firm win over a younger audience.
Set to be revealed on 15 June before sales kick off in November, the EX30 will sit below the existing Volvo XC40 Recharge in the firm’s growing line-up of electric SUVs.
The EX30 will champion the subscription ownership model to make it more affordable to ‘Generation Z’ buyers – people born between the late 1990s and early 2000s – Volvo CEO Jim Rowan said on a call with journalists. He added that subscriptions allow the brand to “talk to new customers”, having previously said Volvo “has never really spoken to that young demographic”.
The company will ensure monthly payments will be set at a “reasonably low cost”.
The new model, previewed at the launch of the larger Volvo EX90, will use a modified version of parent Geely’s SEA architecture.
At the launch, Rowan hinted that the compact model will be aimed at “city driving for first-time buyers”.
With the EX30 sitting firmly in one of the fastest-growing segments, it will be key to Volvo’s target of selling 1.2 million cars annually by the middle of the decade, with half of those fully electric models.
Although the official preview image confirms the model will retain traditional Volvo cues, it will feature bolder styling elements to help win over a younger audience. Much like the EX90, it will take the form of a higher-riding crossover but with sleeker bodywork to maximise the aerodynamic efficiency. It is also possible the model could eventually spawn a coupé-SUV offshoot similar to the C40 Recharge.
At the EX90 launch, Volvo design chief Robin Page said the firm will “start evolving” its design language with the EX30 and future models.
He said: “You’ll still recognise it as a Volvo and there are elements of the EX90 we’ll bring into future products. But with a smaller car, you can play around more with different things. You’ve got a bit more of a spectrum to play with colour, materials and the general expression.”
The SEA architecture is currently used by the Smart #1 and a number of electric models from Geely’s China-only Zeekr brand. It is offered in various forms for vehicles of different lengths and can accept rear-drive single-motor and all-wheel-drive twin-motor powertrains. At launch, the Smart #1 offers 200kW in standard form and 315kW for a twin-motor range-topper.
The platform can accommodate a wide range of battery sizes, although the urban focus of the new model means it is likely to feature a relatively modest unit to keep the size, weight and cost down. The 68kWh pack in the Smart #1 gives a range of 418-435km, which is likely to be considered sufficient for the Volvo SUV’s intended buyers.
The new crossover is expected to advance Volvo’s efforts to use more sustainable and recycled materials in its models, especially as sustainability is a priority for the younger, Gen Z audience.
The SEA platform has a high level of connectivity built into it and offers over-the-air software updates. It is likely that Volvo will offer features on demand and other services through its app.